Pre race ponderings: Lake Garda Marathon

In ten minutes I'm leaving the house to go to Lake Garda for the marathon on Sunday.

I've heard a couple of podcasts recently mention that they wish runners were more open and honest about their feelings before and after races so I thought this would be a good chance to do that since I'll have no chance to edit it. If you were an elite I suppose you'd want to keep your tactics close to your chest but I don't think I need to worry about that!

Last year Mr B and I spent a fabulous weekend in Lake Garda during which I ran their marathon for the first time. It's a small race with various distance options and a beautiful setting. I won it.  I knew the field was very small and I had a chance of a good placing but it wasn't certain I'd do well, especially after a bad race at Bournemouth 2 weeks before.

This year I'm back and with a bunch of friends too. The whole 'marathon winner' thing has become a bit of a running joke over the year and it's bizarre that I'm going back to defend a title.

So, pre race feelings: 
 I *really* hope I've not built the race up to be nicer than it was and that the people I'm going with enjoy it, have a good race & good weekend supporting. 
I'll be honest - my pride wants to complete this  3 in sub 3 challenge (with Florence at the end) that I sort of set myself.
BUT to even assume I can run Sub 3 is stupid. It's a tough challenge and only few months ago I didn't know if I could even do it once.
It might not be smart to do that even if I can. As the ever-wise BenFP said the other day, better to do this one efficiently and get back into good training fast so that we can smash it at Florence (hopefully!).
I'd like to win it, but I don't know who will turn up on the day.
I'd also be pretty relieved if someone super speedy turns up and gives me no chance. Then the whole comedy 'marathon winner' thing goes away and I can just enjoy it.
I've got the worst cold I've had in over a year. It might mean I find it really tough. But I'm also not going to use it as an excuse. 
So... long and the short of it... will I be disappointed if I don't win? Yeah probably. I'm competitive so it'll always sting a bit but it'll be ok.
Do I want to try for sub three...yeah I really do but my reasons for doing so are, in general, bad ones. 
What's my plan? Go out at bang on 3hr pace (if I can). If it starts to feel tough then just ease off and enjoy it.
I think. Argh. Down pride, down. 

You know what? My favourite parts of the trip last year were
1) Sitting by the edge of the lake with Mr B the night before the race drinking hot chocolate and listening to the water.
2) Going to the top of the mountain at the edge of the lake and looking out as the clouds came down and wondering at the sheer breathtaking beauty of it.


Just those moments of peacefullness again would be enough.